Prospectors Bar & Grill

Old Fashioned Burger

Prospectors Bar & Grill on Highway 395 opened in August 2004, and was quickly known around town as a restaurant that served big portions in a fun atmosphere. The “prospector” theme extended to all aspects of the log cabin-esque building, which made for an enjoyable family dining atmosphere.

The original owners sold the place in 2010, but bought it back in 2013 when the restaurant was flagging. They returned many of their old favorites to the menu, and backed up those flavors with the same executive chef they had before the restaurant sold in 2010.

Today, Prospectors Bar & Grill continues to serve the same giant portions that made them famous in the first place. That includes their burgers, one of which I recently tasted for myself.

The Burger

The Old Fashioned Burger is described as a “perfectly seasoned burger” that is juicy and comes with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle slices, and your choice of a number of cheeses. I ordered mine with cheddar, and asked that the pickles be left off.

Let me start off by saying two things about this burger: It was huge, and it was delicious. I could barely fit the thing into my mouth, and the main reason for that was the giant patty. I think it may have been the largest burger patty I’ve eaten for this project so far.

Despite its size, it was perfectly cooked and still very juicy. Pay attention other burger joints: If a patty this thick can be cooked to well done and still be juicy, you can do the same thing with your thin patties. I wasn’t asked about my cooking preferences, but that didn’t matter, since whoever made this thing nailed it.

I could taste the beef with no trouble, perhaps because there was so much of it, but also because nothing else got in the way. The other flavors on the burger made themselves known, but kept to the edges of the spotlight, letting the meat take center stage.

The description said it was “perfectly seasoned,” and I don’t really agree with that statement. It could have used a touch more salt, and a decent bit more black pepper. It also needed some kind of sauce, whether that’s mayonnaise, or ketchup and mustard. The latter two were provided for me at the table, and a slight application of each really tied the burger together. Since it comes to your table open face, I would take the opportunity to add a bit of both.

The bun was a lightly toasted poppy seed roll that was soft and fresh. It didn’t have much flavor of its own, but some parts were buttery, which was great. Unfortunately, not all parts of the bun were so lucky, and the butter flavor was inconsistent from bite to bite. The other toppings were fresh, although the onions and tomatoes kept falling out of my burger.

The Fries

At first glance, I thought the fries were overcooked. They looked too dark and dry to be good, but boy was I wrong. The thick cut fries were moderately crispy and delightfully chewy.

They tasted great, with just the right amount of salt. They didn’t taste like grease at all, nor were they greasy to the touch.

They arrived at just the right temperature, and in true Prospectors Bar & Grill style, the pile was a sizable one.

The Price

After tax, I paid about $13, which makes this one of the higher priced burgers I’ve reviewed, but considering how much food you get—and especially how much meat—I have to say the value is terrific. Especially since it’s actually good food.

I was really hungry when I walked in, and before I could finish my meal I was starting to feel full. I did eat everything on my plate, and a short while later I felt very full, but not so stuffed that it hurt.

The Restaurant

Every corner of Prospectors Bar & Grill continues the log cabin theme, inside and out. From the period decorations on the walls, to the large wood beams all over the restaurant.

The booths are large and fairly private, with clean table and chairs. I saw one of the waitresses cleaning a table, and she took care to wipe down the entire table and the seat of each chair. The floor in the dining room was mostly clean, although it could have used more attention.

Other surfaces were very clean, however, including ones that would typically get overlooked. The large beams overhead were very dusty, which while not a real problem, definitely looked a bit lazy and tacky.

I visited around 1:30 in the afternoon, and found the place mostly empty. I would guess there were a couple of dozen other patrons in there with me; a number that dwindled over the course of my meal.

Several conversations could be heard over the quiet Country music playing from the overhead speakers, but I got the impression the noise level in the dining room never gets much higher than it was while I was there.

My waitress was cheerful and personable, although she seemed scattered at times, despite there being so few people in the restaurant. She also dropped off the extra condiments at my table rather unceremoniously.

The bathroom was nicely appointed, but somewhat dirty. It looked like it doesn’t get attention from members of staff frequently enough.

Being so far North, Prospectors Bar & Grill is a heck of a drive for some people to make just for food (for example, if you live on the South Hill or in Spokane Valley). After eating there, though, I’d say it’s worth making the trip every once in a while.

If you’re interested in bison burgers (which I am, because bison is crazy delicious), they offer a 100% bison burger cooked to medium. I know what I’m getting next time.

Prospectors Bar & Grill
12611 N. Division St. Spokane, WA 99217
(509) 467-6177

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Disagree with my review? That's cool, people have different tastes. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me why you think I got this one wrong. But keep your comments civil or they'll get deleted.

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